Contact:
Jane Moore
jane@kansasdems.org

September 22, 2021

ICYMI: KANSAS REPUBLICANS HEADLINE ANTI-VACCINE EVENT

Kansas Republicans Sen. Mark Steffen, Sen. Mike Thompson and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach touted misinformation and spewed anti-vaccine rhetoric at Freedom Revival in the Heartland.

Topeka, KS – Kansans Republicans Sen. Mark Steffen, Sen. Mike Thompson and former Secretary of State Kris Kobach headlined Freedom Revival in the Heartland, a daylong event sponsored by anti-vaccination organization Kansans for Health Freedom.

Their speeches were filled with lies, threats and extremist rhetoric, which coincides with Republicans coordinated attack on science and vaccines over the past year and a half.

“The comments said by Kansas Republicans on Monday were dangerous, untrue and profoundly ironic. In their quest to turn Kansans against those who are trying to protect them, they have not only damaged their reputations but have also intentionally misled their constituents, who put their faith in them to lead with honor and dignity,” said KDP Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt. “Their complete lack of morality is no longer just political oratory, but rather, a resulting failure that reaps serious real-world consequences at the expense of Kansans.”

Here are some of Kansans Republicans’ most outrageous claims during the conference:

Kansas foes of COVID-19 vaccinations push for political protection from mandates (September 21, 2021)

Sen. Mark Steffen:

  • Steffen “won’t take no for an answer in a quest for a special session of the Kansas Legislature to pass bills blocking workplace COVID-19 vaccination mandates and removing barriers to off-label use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine in wake of the lingering pandemic.”
    • Fact Check: There is no data to show that ivermectin, a drug primarily used to treat parasites in livestock, can prevent or treat COVID-19. The usage of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 is not recommended for usage outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial. Both can cause serious side effects.

Sen. Mike Thompson:

  • Thompson told “an audience of hundreds that he was profoundly skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine and committed to adoption of state laws forbidding people to be forced by government to wear a mask or get shots.”
    • Fact Check: The COVID-19 is safe, effective and FDA approved. The vaccine passed the FDA’s rigorous testing and can be trusted to have the gold standard in safety.

Former Secretary of State Kris Kobach: 

  • Kobach spread extremist rhetoric by saying, “the pandemic revealed the strength of anti-vaccination freedom fighters as well as the ‘inner authoritarianism’ of government officials who relished the idea of issuing edicts, commands and orders.”
  • Kobach said, “he would be the type of attorney general making certain Kansas was first in line to file lawsuits against the Biden administration in opposition to federal COVID-19 mandates.”
    • Fact check: Biden, using regulatory powers, ordered federal employees to get vaccinated or be subject to regular testing. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure a fully vaccinated workforce or require weekly testing.

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